5 reasons to start a business in rural Saskatchewan

5 min read
Leighton Burley

If you want to start a business in Saskatchewan, you may be wondering if now is the right time.

There are many reasons to start a small business in the cities and rural areas of Saskatchewan.

Here are five terrific reasons why Saskatchewan is the right place and now is the right time.

Editor’s note: As soon as you have a business name you like, do two things: 1) Register it with the Canadian government and 2) get the matching .ca domain name to use as your web address.

1. Saskatchewan small business grants, loans and funding

Before starting a business in Saskatchewan, you’ll want to make sure you have enough money to open and start making money before you run out of operating funds or go bankrupt.

Saskatchewan offers five small business grants, along with five other funding sources to help new businesses get going.

You can start by applying for these Saskatchewan small business grants:

GOC Financial Support for Saskatchewan Businesses

GOC Business Grants and Programs Search

Saskatchewan Municipality Grants and Funding

Canada-Saskatchewan Jobs Grant

Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program

Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid.

Truck selling ice cream and smoothies

If your business doesn’t get approved for one of the Saskatchewan small business grants, there are various loans and funding institutes that are designed to help small businesses, including:

Square One Saskatchewan

Operation Entrepreneur (Military Entrepreneur Funding)

Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan

Futurpreneur Canada

Community Futures Saskatchewan

Although loans require repayment, this might still be an excellent way to finance your startup.

2. Lower cost of living

One of the main reasons that small businesses and startups fail is because they have a lack of funding, so they go bankrupt.

One way to avoid this small business catastrophe is by:

  • Reducing your startup infrastructure costs
  • Lowering your cost of living

This will leave you with more money for running your business.

Start a business in rural Saskatchewan, and you’ll benefit from the lower cost of living in rural municipalities.

Housing, land, offices and buildings are cheaper here than in most of the other Canadian provinces.

According to Community Future Saskatchewan, the median house cost in Urban Saskatchewan was around $380,000 per home.

Woman baking in her home kitchen

However, when you look at housing in rural Saskatchewan, the median price of accommodation drops to about $150,000 per home. This makes rural Saskatchewan an excellent choice for entrepreneurs who want to start small businesses. By spending less on their own living expenses, they’ll have more for their startups.

3. Tax reductions, credits and incentives

A third reason to start your own business in rural Saskatchewan is that you’ll get tax deductions or credits for your business, which will help you get established.

Here are some of the main tax credits and reductions that you can apply for to start a business in Saskatchewan, depending on the type of business you hope to start:

Low-Income Tax Credit for Saskatchewanians

Saskatchewan Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

Saskatchewan Farm and Small Business Tax Credit (T1237)

Saskatchewan Manufacturing and Processing Tax Reduction (T2SCH404)

Saskatchewan Research and Development Tax Credits (T2SCH403)

Labour-Sponsored Business Funds

First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

If you want to learn more about the incentives available to business startups in Saskatchewan, you’ll want to visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s online website to see their tax credits and incentives.

Related: The 2020 small business tax changes you need to know about

4. Small business support for start-ups

For many new business owners, it can seem like you’re all alone on your journey to creating a dream job that’ll open opportunities for your life.

If you start your business in Saskatchewan, it won’t be as lonely for you.

The province of Saskatchewan is filled with like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses with between 1 and 50 employees. In fact, Saskatchewan has over 150,000 businesses operating in the province, and 98.9 % of these businesses are small businesses, just like yours.

Creperie storefront with small table outside

As a result, a lot of the support within the province is directed towards entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses that are only a few years old.

If you’re still unsure about whether you should start a business in Saskatchewan, you can read the Success Stories of other entrepreneurs who had gone before you and built their dream careers here.

5. Location

The final benefit of using Saskatchewan as the base for your business is that the location is ideal for most businesses.

With a central time zone, you’ll always be able to do business across Canada and the U.S. without having to operate with odd business hours.

The geographical location of Saskatchewan is also ideal for owners of service businesses because:

  • Within a day's travel by land, you’ll have access to over 60 million people across North America.
  • Within a two-day drive, you’ll have access to over 270 million people in Canada and the United States.

The central location is also a bonus because you’ll have faster shipment times for both coasts.

Whether you offer services and need to visit your high-profile clients, you’re working in manufacturing and processing, or you own a small online business, the location is ideal because you’re centrally located across the country and the continent.

Start a business in Saskatchewan in 2021

While Saskatchewan may not strike you as the optimal location for a new business, it actually has a lot to offer to entrepreneurs. It provides a startup-friendly climate with many small business grants, lower infrastructure costs, tax benefits, business incentives and support for small business owners.

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